I was first informed by Department officials of PTSB’s intention to offer this particular portfolio of loans for sale on Friday 19th January. They were first briefed on the timing of the sale, and potential composition of the portfolio, earlier that week.
As this information is commercially sensitive, and as I must respect stock exchange disclosure rules, I was unable to discuss it openly at that point. The bank's decision to put out a statement on 20th February put many of the details into the public domain and helped clarify the situation.
As I indicated previously, if the transaction proceeds I would expect to be formally consulted on the disposal in due course as provided for in the Relationship Framework between the Minister and the bank.
I should emphasize at this stage that no loan has been sold yet and we won’t know how many loans will be sold for a number of months. In addition, it is not known to whom the loans will be sold. However, I want and expect PTSB to be transparent with their customers when it comes to this sale process as it evolves.
I am also prepared to engage with Deputies from other parties in an effort to see if we can strengthen and enhance the protections that are already in place for mortgage holders in the coming period.